Sylvia Louise Gintz was born August 2, 1941, in Nacogdoches, Texas to Walter F. Gintz and Virginia Thompson Gintz. She died August 2, 2016 in Conroe, Texas.
Walter Gintz accepted a teaching position at Sam Houston Teachers College in Huntsville and moved there the summer before Sylvia entered third grade. She began elementary school in the red brick building on 8th Street. Completing her public school education, she graduated with the class of 1959 from Huntsville High School. After enrolling at Sam Houston, choosing Business as her major, she also earned a teaching certification for job security. She was a Zeta, and graduated with a degree in Business in 1963. Even before she graduated, Sylvia had a job teaching English at South Houston High School in Pasadena, Texas ISD.
In 1964, Sylvia followed a new principal, Carter Lomax, to join the original faculty for the new high school, Sam Rayburn, in Pasadena where she taught Business, English, and was a yearbook sponsor.
In 1965, she married Michael Bell at the First Methodist Church in Huntsville. She eventually left teaching and moved with her husband and her son, Tony, to the 1960 area. There she became an adequate golfer and greatly improved her bridge skills.
In 1977, she moved back to Pasadena and became a retail gift shop owner of Canterbury's, where she had two years of moderate success selling a lot of gold and silver James Avery jewelry that made a nice change for a while; however, a great teacher never strays too far from the classroom. She took an English position at Pasadena High School and later moved back to Sam Rayburn High.
In 1978, she became a member of the Olmstead family and remained so until her death. She had met Anita Olmstead in Old Main in 1960, during a class recess and then met her three young sons, Bob, Tim, and Mark; that sealed the friendship forever. In 1962, she met Anita again in their last class before graduation and both started their teaching careers at the same high school in the fall of 1963.
In 1993, Sylvia returned to Huntsville and taught there and at Conroe. After retiring from teaching, she started using her talents in other areas: a member and later president of the Friends of the Huntsville Library; was an early member of Master Gardeners; and an active supporter in saving the old Huntsville High School building on Sam Houston Avenue; member of the Study Club; founder of The Book Club in 1996; honorary member of the Baytown Babes, and she worked day and night to create the most unusual landscape at her home in Elkins Lake.
Sylvia was preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Virginia Gintz and her son, Tony Bell. Also, her much loved pets, Tootsie Bell and Cleme Bell.
She is survived by her family: Anita G. Olmstead, Huntsville, Texas; Tim A. Olmstead, Houston, Texas; Mark and Sara Olmstead and Mike Rogers, Katy, Texas; Brian Rogers and family, Tampa, Florida; Bob, Harriet, Robert, and Taylor Olmstead, Lynn Haven, Florida; her brother Walter F. Gintz III; her sister, Betsy, Keith, Travis, Autrey, and Ginger Gates, Pembroke, New Hampshire.
A graveside memorial service will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, August 6, 2016 at Oakwood Cemetery in Huntsville with Dr. Dolores Everard officiating.
Sylvia wished to recognize and honor these special people in her life: Dr. Tom C. Cole; Dr. Richard Harper; Lt. Col. Robert C. Olmstead; Tim A. Olmstead; Mark W. Olmstead, and the late Robert W. Olmstead; Clara Jones Beckham; Emma Etheredge, and the Baytown Babes.
"Memories are simply moments that refuse to be ordinary."
Published on August 3, 2016